Grasstrack racing is coming back to Chelmsford on Bank Holiday Monday, after a break of more than twenty years. The 500cc Sidecar Association is organising the East Anglian Spring Trophy meeting at their new home track which is situated on the outskirts of the city, close to Hylands Park the home of the V Festival.
Club members have been working on the 450m track for the past month in preparation for the arrival of more than 100 competitors from all over the UK. These are spread over eight classes, both solo and sidecars, youth and adult classes. Machines ranging from 50cc Auto Cadet solos up to 1000cc sidecars will compete in more than 40 races, a full days racing for all the family.
Headlining the event will be the 500cc Sidecars, the class for which the Association was formed to represent more than thirty years ago. Eleven sidecars line-up, many of whom will be racing in the year long 500cc Sidecar Super Series, the sport’s No.1 racing series. Chelmsford’s Shaun Harvey and passenger Danny Hogg who were the series winners from 2015 are absent from the programme.
They will be racing in Germany on the previous day before hot footing it across the continent to help on the day. Harvey is the association’s chairman and will be helping with the organisation behind the scenes and Hogg will be helping son James who took up racing last season. Simon Beard/Ant Goodwin and Mitch Godden with new passenger Paul Smith, who shared the Super Series podium with Harvey/Hogg in 2015 are ready to go as is the all-girl crew of Natasha Bartlett/Ciara Southgate, who have been training in Germany.
The other three-wheeled class is the exciting 1000cc sidecars, six crews have accepted invitations to race on the grass oval. Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth the former British Masters champions are hot favourites in this one. Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters and Robbie Wilson/Bradley Steer will be heading from Kent to challenge Cossar in this small quality field.
The two-wheeled brigade starts with youth riders as young as 6 years old and a full grid of Auto Cadets/Cadets and Intermediates/seniors will be entertaining the crowd as they begin, what will hopefully be a long and successful career in the sport.
The adult classes includes 250cc and 500cc solos as well as 500cc Solo Uprights which are machines which use a upright engine the predecessor of the modern laydown. Riders in the solo classes include Dave Mears, Charley Powell, James Hartley and Richard Reed and an afternoon of wheel-to-wheel close action is expected.
The GT140 class completes the programme, a new addition to the association’s normal line-up. These bikes consist of speedway frames coupled with a 140cc engine. Normally run on a small track it will be interesting to see how they go on a larger oval.
The venue is at King’s Farm, Margaretting Road, Chelmsford CM1 3PJ which is close to Hylands Park and off of junction 15 of the A12. Gates open at 9.30am and the action starts at 11am with practice and the racing begins at 1pm. Adults only £10 and under 16’s go free (must be accompanied by a paying adult), Concessions £8.
Bring a picnic or enjoy refreshments available at the track. Great value for a day out with the family.